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Language and Culture in Everyday Life: Korean Discourse as a Window Into Culture, Perception, Cognition, Identity, and Taste

Course Number: KOR 498 (PSU), ASIAN 380 (U-M), 01:574:390 (RU)

Times: Tu/Th | 10:15AM – 11:30AM (CT) | 11:15AM – 12:30PM (ET)

Instructor: Susan Strauss

Description: In this course, we will study the interrelationships between culture, language, and worldview-with a specific focus on Korea and Koreans (living in Korea and abroad).  Through research, theory, videos, printed matter, and music, we will investigate:

How language shapes, creates, and is created by behaviors, expectations, orientations, perceptions, and practices

How language shapes ways of viewing time, space, identities, nation, belonging, exclusion, opinion, even sensory perception-focusing on such issues as:

  • Family - structure, kinship, children, the elderly
  • Food - taste, presentation; noodle/rice culture
  • Politeness (e.g., face, directness, honorifics)
  • Identity (e.g., national identity, gender identity)
  • Advertising - electronics, food and beverages, fashion
  • Media and Entertainment - Korean Wave, K Drama, K-Pop

No prior knowledge of Korean is required.

Hosting University: Penn State University

Participating Universities: University of Michigan, Rutgers University